Gardening This Weekend: June 10, 2021

Here are your prime goals for the next several days. Do a quick scan to make note of those that apply.

Turfgrass as soon as possible. It becomes much more challenging to start new grass as it turns hotter.
Summer annuals that can handle the heat, including copper plants, firebush, purple fountaingrass, Gold Star esperanza, fanflower, lantanas, purslane, moss rose, angelonias, pentas and Profusion zinnias.
Tropicals, including caladiums, bougainvilleas, crotons, mandevillas, plumbagos, hibiscus, bananas and others.
Crape myrtles while in bloom to ensure you get the colors you want. Be sure each variety’s mature height matches the space you have for it.

Wait to prune oaks until early or mid-July to reduce risk of spreading oak wilt.
Blackberries to remove canes that just bore fruit completely to the ground. (They will never bear fruit again.)
Pinch growing tips out of coleus, copper plants, Mexican bush salvias, mums and fall asters to keep plants shorter and to remove flowers that tend to cause new growth to stall out.
Dead branches off shrubs, groundcovers and vines. They’ve had enough time to put out new growth. Retrain new shoots as needed.

Finish fertilizing St. Augustine for spring and early summer within the next week. Feeding later will encourage development of gray leaf spot fungus. Next feeding should be held until early September.
Iron and sulfur soil acidifier to correct chlorosis (yellowed leaves with dark green veins that show first on leaves at tip ends of branches).
Patio pots, hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food weekly.

Continued Below

Last call for second application of pre-emergent granules (Dimension, Balan or Halts) to prevent germination of crabgrass and grassburs. First application should have been in late February in South Texas or by mid-March in North Texas. If you did not make that application, there is no point in making this one.
Take all root rot (TARR) has been causing yellowed areas in St. Augustine since April. Roots will be shortened and very dark. TARR will diminish as it turns hot, but gray leaf spot will begin to show up, also causing yellowed areas. In latter case, however, visible gray-brown spots will appear on leaf blades. Both diseases can kill St. Augustine and zoysia. Both can be lessened or stopped with Azoxystrobin in either Halts Disease-EX or Heritage.
Chiggers are microscopic pests that crawl onto your feet and legs, then bit you, causing ferocious itching. People want to know what to spray on their lawns and landscapes. I suggest simply applying DEET to ankles, feet, shoes and cuffs. It’s easier to protect ourselves than to clean up the entire environment from these “invisible” critters. They will run their course by mid-summer when it turns hot and dry.
Spider mites will begin to show up on beans, tomatoes, marigolds and many other plants. They suck the life out of plants’ leaves, but they are nearly microscopic. If your plants turn pale tan in a faint mottled appearance, thump some of the leaves over white paper. If you see tiny specks starting to move, those are the mites. Apply an insecticide labeled for mites to the bottom leaf surfaces to control them. Repeat sprays may be required.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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